South Asia

Growing Season: 2011-12

Countries: India, (no organic from Pakistan 2011-12)

General Staple Lengths: Medium & Long

No. of Producer Groups: 100

No. of Farmers: 184,029

Organic Cotton Production Area: 253,161 ha

Seed Cotton Production: 312,131 mt

Fiber (lint) Production: 103,004 mt

                                                                                                            Bales (US) of Cotton Lint:
472,786
                                                                                                  

Organic cotton is grown in both India and Pakistan. India is the world’s largest producer of organic cotton coming from approximately 200 producer groups. Pakistan has only one, although very effective, producer group located in the Baluchistan province.

 Expert's Insight: Arun Chandra Ambatipudi, Chetna Organic

 

 Expert's Insight: Satish Chukkapalli, Zameen Organics

 

 Expert's Insight: Eric Ducoin, Biocoton Project


India

In India, (conventional) cotton is grown primarily in the western half of the nation, with the state of Punjab leading production at 18 percent. The state of Andhra Pradesh comes in second, accounting for 14 percent. India is the world’s largest producer of organic cotton coming from approximately 200 producer groups. Organic cotton is grown in the following Indian states, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtrah, Gujurat, Orissa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh.

There is no doubt that organic cotton is beginning to play a dynamic and significant role in the larger scheme of Indian agriculture, despite the negligible percentage of land under organic cotton when compared to conventional (i.e. approximately 3 percent) and the steady increase in GM cotton. From the high position that organic cotton holds in the organic acreage and as the leading export, it is evident that it also plays a vital role in the organic agricultural economy.

In India, the growth of organic cotton indicates a clear signal that cotton assumes great significance as a choice among organic crops, and a significant number of farmers in organic cultivation in the major cotton producing states such as Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Orissa choose to grow cotton. Given the fact that all four states fall within the “high poverty group”, and have a good percentage of India’s rural poor, the role of organic cotton in delivering benefits to these farmers and reducing poverty through a growth in income and reduction of costs assumes great significance.

Video: Rama Krishna, Executive Director for Chetna Organic Farmers Association, talk about organic and fairtrade cotton

Video: Vasudha organic cotton farmers share experiences of organic farming 


Pakistan

Most of the cotton produced in Pakistan is grown in a belt along the eastern border of the nation. The province of Punjab accounts for the majority of the nation’s production, producing 85 percent of Pakistan’s total cotton, while the province of Sindh produces the other 15 percent of Pakistan’s cotton.

The Kings’ Cotton Group produces organic cotton in the Baluchistan province, neighbouring to the West of the Sindh region. The Kings’ Group has a close working partnership with the US textile company Greensource. Together the two companies are addressing environmental, social and economic concerns for the rural communities in which Kings' are based.